WSCC 2021 Catholic Advocacy Bulletin, No. 1 January 15, 2021
State Legislative Update
Today marks the end of the first week of the state legislative session. Below is a summary of bills on the move that are of importance to the Washington State Catholic Conference. As bills continue to be introduced throughout the session the WSCC will analyze bills of importance to the bishops and the faithful of Washington state.
The legislative session is being conducted virtually, and it’s now easier than ever to speak for and against bills at hearings or submit written testimony. Click here to sign up to testify or submit written testimony for bills assigned to a hearing. You may also comment on a bill at any time. To leave a message for legislators about a bill, you can call 1-800-562-6000.
Hearing Scheduled for HB 1141, Assisted Suicide
House Bill 1141 (HB 1141) increases access to physician assisted suicide and accelerates the process. The bill broadens the definition of “qualified medical provider” and broadens the definition of those who can provide counseling. Additionally, this bill decreases the amount of time that a patient is required to wait between making a request and receiving a prescription to terminate his or her life. Previously, the patient had to wait 15 days. The waiting period will be shortened to 72 hours. A hearing before the House Committee on Health Care and Wellness on this bill is scheduled for Monday, January 20. Click here to sign in and state your position as “oppose,” submit a written statement, or offer live testimony. The WSCC opposes HB 1141.
SB 5010: Concerning Credit Scores and Equity
Senate Bill 5010 (SB 5010) prohibits the use of credit scores to determine rates for personal lines of insurance. The use of credit scoring to calculate rates for personal lines of insurance is unfair and has a disproportionately negative economic impact on women, low income individuals, and communities of color in Washington. On Thursday the Senate Committee on Business, Financial Services, and Trade conducted a hearing on this bill, and WSCC Executive Director, Mario Villanueva testified. (00:50:23) The WSCC supports SB 5010.
HB 1009: Addition of Abortion Coverage to Student Health Plans
House Bill 1009 (HB 1009) expands the coverage of abortion in student health plans for colleges and universities. Any student health plan that provides coverage for maternity care or services will also be required to include equivalent coverage to permit the abortion of a pregnancy. This bill was fast-tracked. A hearing on the bill took place on Wednesday, and on Thursday the bill was passed by the House Committee on Health Care and Wellness. The WSCC opposes HB 1009.
Clean Fuels Bill (HB 1091) Scheduled For a Committee Vote
House Bill 1091 (HB 1091) reduces the carbon intensity of transportation fuel to reduce greenhouse emissions gas. The House Committee on Environment and Energy conducted a hearing on Thursday, and the committee will vote on the bill on January 21. In accordance with Pope Francis’s call to care for God’s creation in Laudato Si, the WSCC supports HB 1091.
Private Schools Emergency Waiver Bill (HB 1131) Scheduled For a Committee Vote
House Bill 1131 (HB 1131) provides a waiver for private schools to maintain their approval status when they are unable to meet minimum schools days or instructional hours due to a significant disruption resulting from an emergency situation. This bill is favorable to Catholic schools. A hearing is scheduled for today, and the House Committee on Education will vote on it on January 19. The WSCC supports HB 1131.
From the USCCB
USCCB Condemns Violent Protests
In the wake of violence at the US Capitol, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) President, Archbishop Jose Gomez, issued a statement against violent protests. Archbishop Gomez further commented, “In this troubling moment, we must recommit ourselves to the values and principles of our democracy and come together as one nation under God.”
New USCCB Q & A on COVID-19 Vaccines
The USCCB Secretariat of Pro-life Activities released a new Q & A document regarding ethical questions and the COVID-19 vaccines. The Washington State Catholic Conference (WSCC), comprised of the bishops of Washington state, along with the Catholic Charities and Catholic Health Care organizations of the state, also issued a statement last month encouraging individuals to get the COVID-19 vaccination.
Respect Life Notes
January Pro-Life Activities
As we remember the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision on January 22, there are a number of pro-life activities in January:
- January 21-29: 9 Days for Life novena: Join the 9 Days for Life novena to pray for the protection of life. Visit 9daysforlife.com to learn more and sign up to receive daily prayers during the novena. Information on planning pro-life activities at your parish may be found here.
- January 22: 8 am Mass for Life at St. James Cathedral. Mass will be broadcast via Facebook, and reservations are required for in-person attendance. Also, Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Children: Pray for the unborn on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.
- January 22: Virtual March for Life in Washington. WA State March for Life says that this will be the culmination of a Week for Life on their Facebook page.
- January 24: Diocese of Spokane Mass for Life at 11 AM at Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral, with Bishop Daly presiding. The Mass will be streamed thru the Cathedral’s website www.SpokaneCathedral.com on the Facebook link.
- January 28-29: National Prayer Vigil for Life: This prayer vigil is held on the eve of the March for Life every year. Due to the pandemic the vigil will be closed to the public but will be televised on EWTN.
- January 29: National March for Life in Washington, DC
- January 31: Diocese of Yakima Annual Mass for Life at 11 AM at St. Paul Cathedral. Mass will be celebrated by Most Rev. Joseph J. Tyson, Bishop of Yakima. Reservations for the Mass for Life may be made at https://www.stpaulyakima.org/.
Jan 22 Archdiocese Mass For Life
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